Women are developing a long-term outlook to their health and a holistic approach to their physical and emotional wellbeing.
As women become ever more tuned into their specific health needs, the market has responded with a surge of new product launches. Research by Kerry shows that new product activity has driven a 46% growth in supplements designed to support women through the various life stages they will experience.1
Of these, the menopause and its accompanying phases, perimenopause and post-menopause, are key transitions for a woman, and health products targeting these areas are a growing focus. Between 2018-2022 there was an average annual growth of 19% in supplements launched globally with ‘menopause’ in the product descriptions2; and in 2022 the supplements segment dominated the menopause market, accounting for over 95% revenue share.3
This is welcome news for the one billion women worldwide who will be in menopause in 2025, of whom 80% will experience symptoms.4 And given that a woman may spend as much as 40% of her lifetime in post-menopause, a growing focus on solutions that address this specific need is both encouraging and necessary.4
Transitioning into menopause
Menopause is the point at which a woman’s periods cease for 12 consecutive months, signalling the end of her reproductive years. The transitional period leading up to this, which often begins in her 40s, is known as the perimenopause and it is associated with hormonal imbalances. This life stage affects each woman uniquely and gives rise to a range of physical and emotional symptoms.
Oestrogen is the most prominent hormone associated with menopause and its stages. During perimenopause, oestrogen levels start to fluctuate and decline. This has a domino effect, causing levels of other hormones, such as progesterone, to fall and destabilise, too. It is this hormonal imbalance that leads to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can also contribute to mood swings, feelings of sadness or anxiety, as well as lack of focus and mental clarity, commonly known as ‘brain fog’.
Stress can also be a factor related to this stage of a woman’s life. At this age, she is typically overseeing her family's health as well as her own – for example, caring for children or aging parents, or both – as well as juggling a career with running a household. Carving out time for her own needs can be taxing while she is already balancing multiple tasks.
Declining oestrogen levels during perimenopause often causes other physical symptoms, too. A woman can experience hot flashes or night sweats (sudden and intense sensations of heat and sweating) which disrupt sleep patterns and cause tiredness and irritability during the day. Changes in skin conditions, such as dryness or oiliness, are common, as well as hair loss or thinning, headaches or migraines. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to vaginal dryness, causing discomfort during sexual activity, as well as loss of libido.
As a woman transitions into post menopause, she may feel that symptoms start to calm and regulate, however this new phase can bring about other changes, too. During a time when she is focused on staying healthy and active for as long as possible, these declining hormone levels can have an impact on her joint and bone health, with common side effects including joint pain, stiffness and aches.
While the various stages of menopause can overlap and feel similar, connecting the physical and emotional symptoms with hormonal imbalances is the first step toward alleviating any discomfort during these transitional years.
Understanding of the role that hormone regulation can play during these years can empower a woman to make informed choices that support positive outcomes for her health. Already 50% of women say that consuming dietary supplements with specific health benefits is the best way to support hormonal imbalances, including those relating to the menopause.4 But with the extensive choice available, it is critical for her to appreciate how each can support the specific life stage and symptoms she is facing.
Kerry’s Proactive Health portfolio of Women's Health ingredients are clinically proven and trusted to address the fluctuating hormone levels experienced by women as they reach and transition through menopause, helping to navigate smoothly the emotional and physical changes.
Each ingredient has been carefully selected to address the specific hormone-related concerns that peak during each stage of menopause, and are designed to inspire the formulation of health-forward products such as supplements.
Luprenol® supports during perimenopause and menopause, acting directly on the decline in oestrogen. As a plant-based active ingredient, extracted from the Humulus Lupulus plant, it can be added to supplements to support hormonal balance and the associated side effects of lost oestrogen.
An extract of damiana (Turnera diffusa), Damilib® helps to support women’s sexual health and libido related to hormonal imbalances, which can have implications not only for a woman but also for her partner, particularly in her pre- or post-menopause years when hormonal instability is at its peak.
Among the rapidly cycling moods, and symptoms which can cause trouble sleeping, stress can become a factor, particularly during a woman’s peri and post-menopause years, too. Backed by multiple clinical studies and ongoing research to support its safety and efficacy, Sensoril® ashwagandha is formulated using the root and leaf of the plant for maximum efficacy. It is designed for solid and liquid applications to support sleep, memory and stress management, conditions which are commonly associated with menopause.
And because menopause and post-menopause can be a time when a woman may experience hormone-related joint or bone pain, PrimaVie® is clinically shown to support changes in bone and joint health. It helps to keep hormones in balance and ameliorate symptoms, allowing her to remain active and comfortable through her later years.
The portfolio is underpinned by a full suite of support for manufacturers to differentiate and formulate with new innovations, ensuring that ingredients are not only efficacious but appeal to women, too, with factors such good taste and accessible formats among the many considerations.
Navigating the life changes associated with menopause is a path that almost every woman will find herself on. Providing access to science-backed solutions and tailored support will empower her to move forward with confidence and embrace her physical and mental health.
1. Kerry proprietary consumer research, 2021.
2. Innova Market Insights.
3. Menopause Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Treatment (Dietary Supplements, OTC Pharma Products), By Region (North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, MEA), And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030.
4. Kerry proprietary consumer research – Fortified & Functional, 2022.